Business and Employers

Local shopping centreAlthough the current economic climate has led to a reduction in the number of apprenticeships in certain sectors, most notably construction, overall there has been a growth in apprenticeships over the last few years.

  • since 2010, there have been over 2m apprenticeship starts in England
  • more than 850,000 people have been earning and learning on an apprenticeship in 2013 to 2014
  • there were 1.4m online applications in 2012 to 2013

(Source: Skills Funding Agency, which is responsible for the National Apprenticeship Service, March 2015).

Issues recruiting younger workers

Often, however, companies, particularly small, medium and micro-enterprises, do not know how to go about taking on apprentices. While there are initiatives and financial incentives to recruit young people and develop existing staff, businesses say they find it difficult to navigate their way around the available help and would welcome advice on accessing grants, funding for training and other support. Read about all our services to business (431kb PDF)

The Government has acted on the call from organisations such as the CBI to improve young people's employability skills, by setting up the Careers and Enterprise Company, the careers advice firm that recruits volunteers from the business community. It will ensure business has a greater involvement in education to enable students to:

  • raise their awareness of the world of work
  • gain skills to allow them to make a successful transition
  • make a valuable contribution to the future labour market

Recruitline – expert help with apprentice recruitment

At C&K Careers, we offer a Recruitline service, specialising in the recruitment of 16 to 19 year olds, which is a one-stop shop for information and advice on employing apprentices. We work closely with the National Apprenticeship Service and in 2011/12 handled 840 vacancies for local businesses and training providers.

We save businesses time, money and hassle:

Advertising apprenticeship vacancies free of charge

Showcasing vacancies in schools and colleges, in our careers centres and on our ckcareersonline website

Matching vacancies to 16 to 19 year old apprenticeship seekers

Sourcing and linking up businesses with appropriate training providers

Supporting businesses at all stages of the selection process by ensuring recruitment advertising is accurate and likely to attract a strong field of candidates, screening applications, assisting with shortlisting and helping at interviews

Advising on grants for apprenticeship and government funding for training, and signposting to other potential sources of support and funding

Linking education with business

We have been delivering high quality education and business activities since 1995. We organise up to 8,000 work experience placements a year, along with careers education events and activities in schools and colleges, and visits to industry and training providers for students, advisers and teachers.

Bringing education and business closer together delivers many benefits:

  • Students gain an insight into the world of work.
  • Schools and colleges update their knowledge of industry requirements, employment skills and workplace developments.
  • Businesses and training providers use work experience placements to identify potential apprentices.
  • Employers develop different perspectives by having a young person on site.
  • Employees learn new skills by working with and mentoring young people.

"I would just like to say what a tremendous team you have at C&K Careers. You are extremely efficient at posting our engineering apprenticeship vacancies on your website and keeping us informed. At Kirklees College, we have had a fantastic success rate with applications from your adverts, and I see no reason why the success should not continue. I would be happy to recommend C&K Careers for recruitment requirements.”
Learning and Assessment Coordinator, Engineering Department, Kirklees College

"It’s been great to have [E] working here with us. She made a positive contribution to the team throughout this week and worked on several projects that have contributed to the company. It’s been an absolute pleasure having her working with us. I wish her all the best for the future and am confident she will be very successful.”
Business Analysis Officer, Major high street bank

For further information:

Contact: John, Work-based Services Manager
Call:  01484 225500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Employment and skills

TraineeOver recent years, a number of government initiatives has been introduced to improve employment and skills, and to address certain economic challenges, including:

  • funding for employers to enhance the skills available in the workplace
  • support for people to remove barriers to finding and staying in employment
  • skills and employability training for those recently made redundant

Many of these programmes are commissioned at a regional or sub-regional level and delivered by prime contractors working with a network of local providers. Most have a strong focus on sustainable job outcomes or career progression. Effective partnership working has been essential to achieving targets for the programmes.

Expert help from an experienced partner

C&K Careers has partnered a wide range of prime contractors and local organisations to deliver successful employment and skills programmes, bringing a number of unique benefits to these relationships:

We work across all age groups and deliver a range of complementary contracts, thereby ensuring a seamless service to young people entering adult provision

Our in-depth knowledge of the local scene and young NEET, and our excellent network of contacts add value to our partnerships

We provide holistic career solutions, endeavouring to address underlying issues that are barriers to education, employment and training

We offer specialist expertise, including careers guidance and information services

Our information team produces highly regarded labour market information and other resources, ensuring the information and advice given is labour-market focused

We provide employability workshops and redundancy support

Through excellent contacts with local employers, our work-related services team organises over 7,500 work experience placements a year with hundreds of companies across all industry sectors

Our highly skilled, experienced professional advisers, some with community language skills, all hold a minimum Level 3 in Advice and Guidance; with the majority qualified at level 4 and many qualified to Level 6. A number hold the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) qualification

Our training team delivers a range of accredited and non-accredited courses for information, advice and guidance workers

Within Calderdale and Kirklees, we operate from well-resourced careers centres, as well as over 100 outreach locations, providing excellent access to services

Our reputation for meeting and often exceeding targets is well proven

Adding value to Jobcentre Plus

We have excellent relationships with Jobcentre Plus within Calderdale and Kirklees, and offer a co-located service. As a result, we have developed a sound knowledge of their provision and customers.

We support Jobcentre Plus in specific areas of its broad agenda. Jobcentre Plus tells us that we are regarded as an independent and impartial ‘helping agency’ and appreciates the difference our specialist IAG expertise can make to their customers’ realistic decision making and successful job search.

Further proof that we add real value to the work of Jobcentre Plus is demonstrated by our success with Flexible Support Grant funding:

We were recently awarded grants to run employability provision for graduates and CV workshops across Calderdale and Kirklees, and a pre-apprenticeship programme across West Yorkshire

Improving access for prime contractors

These are mainly national and sometimes international organisations, to which we provide our local knowledge and experience of young people. This has added to our track record of building effective public-private partnerships with private sector prime contractors, and helped fulfil the Government’s goal of involving more social enterprises in service delivery.

Drawing on our extensive partner network and outreach facilities, we assist prime contractors in accessing broader customer groups, in particular those eligible for programmes who are not in regular contact with traditional agencies, such as Jobcentre Plus.

The GO experience has been fantastic. Our adviser is energetic and so lovely. After one day I left knowing a lot more about how my strengths relate to the graduate job market and what I need to do to improve my CV into a winning CV'. client interviewee, matrix report, January 2016.

"We send clients to you with no experience of job interviews to gauge their level and your feedback is always so thorough that we can address issues and build them into action plans. We also forward serial interviewees. For this type of client, your advice gives them tangible targets to help improve their interview skills... many have found work at their next interview. We feel your service is by far the best interview preparation we can offer our clients."
Group Facilitator, Prime Contractor (Welfare-to-Work provider)

"I wanted to pass on some really positive feedback from our adviser team meetings. In particular, advisers from each job centre were very complimentary of your CV service and described the CVs as excellent. We very much welcome the support you offer Jobcentre Plus and our customers.” Relationship Manager, Jobcentre Plus

For further information:

Contact: Rosemary, New Business Development Manager
Call: 01484 225500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local authorities

Town hallLocal authorities are reorganising services to deal with the budget cuts. Increasingly, they are looking to partnerships and outsourcing agreements with the private sector, social enterprises and voluntary bodies to deliver a range of benefits, not just service improvements and cost savings but innovation and risk-reward sharing, as well as new service delivery models.

In this era of austerity, which is leading to high levels of unemployment among certain groups, particularly the young, there is a focus on raising employability and skill levels, so those out of work can compete better in the job market and take advantage of new employment opportunities.

On top of which, as welfare reforms impact on local residents, councils are having to act to support new entrants and returners to work, some from vulnerable sections of the community, by commissioning services from organisations offering specialist advice, guidance and placement expertise.

'Participation advisers successfully combine outreach approaches with visits to community venues to motivate and inspire those young people that are deemed hardest to reach.' matrix report, January 2016.

"Today's workshop has been ace. The adviser spent time helping us to become more self aware. We looked at opportunities for 17 year olds. I am feeling much more positive about my future thanks to the career person." Client interviewee,  matrix report, January 2016.

Duties under the Education Act

Under the Education and Skills Act 2008, it is the statutory responsibility of local authorities:

  • to encourage, enable and assist the participation of young people in education or training
  • to assist the most vulnerable young people and those at risk of disengaging with education or work
  • to have arrangements in place to ensure that 16 and 17 year olds receive an offer of a suitable place in post-16 education or training
  • to assist them in taking up a place

These responsibilities have become increasingly important since the participation age was raised to an individual's 18th birthday.

To fulfil their duties, local authorities track young people’s participation through the Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) to identify those at risk of not participating post-16 or in need of support. Schools are also working with local authorities to record young people’s post-16 plans, offers received and current circumstances.

We understand and we deliver

We understand local authorities’ needs and deliver bespoke services and solutions that support their strategic objectives and local targets.

Partnership working, designed around council needs, is at the heart of what we do because it builds a sustainable company, maximizes business opportunities and delivers mutual benefits. This is how we have managed to maintain a successful long-term strategic and operational relationship with Calderdale Council and Kirklees Council, both metropolitan boroughs:

delivering IAG services to 13-19 year-olds, raising participation in learning and reducing NEET; and to adults, providing redundancy support and increasing employability

managing the Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) data on behalf of Calderdale and Kirklees Councils and providing strategic analysis

managing the local Area-Wide Prospectuses on behalf of both local authorities and delivering the Common Application Process in Kirklees

developing online information resources, for example Kirklees CLIK to promote adult learning and improve take-up of courses

creating apps to support young people’s entry to employment and training, in partnership with Kirklees Council and Looking Local, the council-owned and managed digital/mobile technology specialists, funded under the Customer-Led Transformation programme

We are working with the London Borough of Islington to provide the content for Izzy-info – an online information resource for young people of the borough.

We deliver the Barnsley Summer Internship Programme for Year 10 pupils, on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

We delivered a large training programme to 149 delegates from 59 organisations across the Bradford district. Paid for by Bradford Council’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund, the aim of the programme was to enable community groups to provide high quality information, advice and guidance to local people, enhancing their learning and employment prospects, and raising their aspirations.

We have contributed to innovative delivery models across West Yorkshire, such as the Skills Regional Investment Plan, which provided bespoke support to individual community organisations to develop the skills of local residents and improve their economic wellbeing.

We have delivered accredited development training for East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire County Council children’s workforce services.

For further information:

Contact: Katren, Head of Business Development
Call: 01484 225500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Schools and colleges

Students in schoolThe Education Act 2011 places schools under a duty to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for pupils in Years 9-11 from an external source without any additional funding.

Face-to-face support must be provided, where suitable, to enable young people to make successful transitions.

Under the Act, schools and colleges are now accountable for student progression, achievements against the new Key Stages 4 and 5 destination measures, reducing NEET and raising participation. They are also expected to make sure young people are aware of the full range of academic and vocational options.

In order to be seen as effective by Ofsted, schools have to demonstrate that their learners: 'gain a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them... ensuring they are well equipped as they move through school and on into the next stage of their education, training or employment.'

In 2013, Ofsted published a thematic review of careers/IAG provision, assessing how schools are meeting their responsibilities.

A professional, personal approach

C&K Careers is well placed to help schools and colleges meet their statutory duties, Ofsted requirements and more besides. We have been delivering contracts for schools and colleges since 1995. We listen carefully to what they want, and use our experience and expertise to provide an individual solution that delivers the required results. Schools and colleges simply choose the services that are required.

  • Currently, more than 50 schools, colleges and sixth forms already commission careers guidance exclusively from C&K Careers.
  • Our careers advisers are all qualified to level 6 in IAG and experienced in working with young people in all learning environments. Plus, we are committed to the continuing professional development of all staff.
  • Our information team, staffed by qualified, experienced specialists, produces highly regarded careers and labour market information.
  • We offer specialist support to vulnerable young people, including learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, looked-after children, teenage parents and pregnant teenagers, young people with a Youth Offending Team order and those at risk of becoming NEET.
  • We have comprehensive links with employers, training organisations, universities and colleges, and provide a vacancy matching service.
  • Comprehensive tracking and reporting through our CCIS-compliant database evidences the impact we have on student outcomes, ensuring value for money.
  • We will provide a free assessment of a school or college's CEIAG programme against our local Quality Standard Award, which is validated against the national Quality in Careers Standard (QiCS).

A partner you can trust

The quality of our work is recognised through independent accreditation by the matrix Standard, the Investors in Diversity and the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme, proof we are a reliable partner with the highest standards; and one of the reasons our customers return to us time and time again – more than 60% have been with us since 2007.

'An empowering approach ensures schools are enabled by their purchasing power, [to] select the IAG portfolio that meets their needs. Through thoughtful planning, effective implementation and reflective termly reviews, schools and colleges are receiving a service that is hugely valued.'
matrix report, January 2016.

A company that delivers results

  • We improve participation in learning and progression at Key Stages 4 and 5.
  • We reduce NEET and ‘Not-Knowns’ at the end of Key Stages 4 and 5, helping more students into education, employment and training.
  • However, we do more than meet statutory targets – our goal is to make a positive difference to the lives of young people, enabling them to fulfil their ambitions, and achieve their career and learning potential.

"C&K Careers bring immense benefits to our school. Our careers adviser is fantastic. She inspires and raises the aspirations of our students and is an integral part of the school's progression and transition activities". matrix Report, January 2016.

“This academic year, as a school we have been empowered to shape the inputs of our careers adviser within the curriculum….The range of services now provided are exactly what we want to ensure young people are better informed to make decisions. We need to be sure we are getting value for money. I absolutely know that we are.” Headteacher, partner school

"The C&K Careers adviser works closely with me on career planning and future post-16 options for students with SEND issues, and she has achieved the best outcomes for the cohort I am in charge of.” Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Academy school

"We see your careers adviser as a valued partner in the delivery of careers and educational guidance within the college. Her contribution to our recent inspection was above and beyond, and very much appreciated.” Head of Careers, sixth form college

"Our C&K Careers adviser is highly respected by students, parents and staff, who appreciate her diligence, knowledge, interest and quiet perseverance. She is immensely helpful to the school in its pursuit of improvements.” Deputy Head, 11-16 school

"Does the C&K Careers service represent good value for money? In my view yes."
Careers Co-ordinator, 11-18 school

For further information:

Contact: Steve, Head of Services (Young People)
Call: 01484 225500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download our brochure 'Careers Services to Schools and Colleges' (680kb PDF)

CW LogoCMYK  If you want to develop your skills and knowledge have a look at the IAG training courses we offer. 

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